Smoke Free chairman says thank you

Published 9:10 am Tuesday, May 17, 2016

By Christopher L. Bates

On behalf of the Smoke-Free Port Arthur Coalition, over 100 Smoke-Free Port Arthur Public Hearing attendees, several public hearing speakers in favor of Smoke-Free Port Arthur, hundreds of other Smoke-Free Air supporters, and as a proud resident of Port Arthur, I say THANK YOU!

The purpose of the Smoke-Free Port Arthur Coalition is to support the city of Port Arthur in upholding the law prohibiting smoking in all public places and indoor workplaces in efforts to protect the best health interest of all that live, work and play within the city.

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Thank you to the community and several organizations for positively sharing your voice with decency and order in offering compelling testimonials and stories of the negative effects of secondhand smoke. Some shared heartfelt personal experiences from effects of secondhand smoke and some shared dreams of looking forward to the day of working, dining and patronizing Port Arthur businesses in a smoke-free air environment.

Thank you to Port Arthur City Council for your careful consideration and responsiveness to the will of the community in voting unanimously in support of the 100 percent Comprehensive Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2016 without exemptions so that every worker and resident in Port Arthur is protected. You all fairly governed the city in its entirety by creating policy that applies equally to all businesses and establishments, providing certainty of level playing field. There are 50 other cities that have Comprehensive Smoke-Free Air Ordinances that apply equally to all establishments and on April 5th, 2016, Port Arthur shares this same truth.

A special thanks to Councilwoman Tiffany Hamilton for her leadership in coordinating the Smoke-Free Port Arthur Coalition and sponsoring this ordinance along with Mayor Pro-Tem Kaprina Frank and Councilwoman Charlotte Moses. Also, special thanks to Councilman Willie “Bae” Lewis for his well-expressed comments in support of the ordinance in stating, “Y’all make a compelling argument and you have quite a bit of support here. I been noticing since the City of New York pass an ordinance and business in the restaurants and everything pick up. It had no negative impact. I’ve been following it for years. I wasn’t too keen on it at first, but I’m going to support what you want.”

We truly appreciate City Council’s leadership. Now every worker and resident in our community will be protected from dangerous exposure to secondhand smoke. May 9th, 2016 was the effective date of the Smoke-Free Air Ordinance. The public health and quality of life in Port Arthur has already begun greatly improving.


Christopher L. Bates

Jefferson County Constable Pct. 2

Smoke-Free Port Arthur Coalition Chair